NEW YORK — Johan Santana hit his first major-league homer, providing his own run support while pitching a three-hitter that led the New York Mets past the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 on a blazing Tuesday night.
On a day when it hit a record 103 degrees in the city, Santana steamed around the bases after capping a tenacious 12-pitch at-bat with his drive off the right-field foul screen.
That was all Santana needed to blank the team that leads the National League in runs, homers and hitting. Santana struck out five and walked three in his seventh career shutout and first since 2008. The Reds, who lead the NL Central Division, lost for the second time in seven games.
Santana (6-5) had won just once in his last seven starts, though Mets hitters shared the blame. They scored only one run in his previous three outings.
Santana took off his batting helmet, saluted the crowd with his right hand and came out for a curtain call to acknowledge the cheers after his home run. He drew another ovation the next time up as the video board replayed the highlight — the first home run in 182 career at-bats for a lifetime .166 hitter.
It was still 96 degrees when Brandon Phillips led off the game with a double, but Santana didn't allow another hit until Orlando Cabrera singled in the sixth. Santana ended that inning by retiring Scott Rolen on a harmless fly with two runners on base.
The Reds threatened in the ninth when Rolen singled with one out and left fielder Jason Bay dropped Jay Bruce's fly ball for an error. Mets Manager Jerry Manuel strolled to the mound, but fans implored him to leave in Santana, and he did.
Santana rewarded his manager when he got Jonny Gomes on a lineout and Drew Stubbs grounded into a game-ending force.
Matt Maloney (0-1) lost in his first game for Cincinnati this season. He traveled in from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the day, filling in for Aaron Harang, on the disabled list with back spasms.
Maloney retired the first seven batters. After rookie Ruben Tejada singled but was caught stealing, Santana stepped up in the third. He took a ball from the Reds lefty, then fouled off the next seven pitches. After a ball and two more fouls, Santana took another meaty cut and pulled a drive that hit halfway up the foul screen.
Bay knocked in two runs with a single in the sixth.
The heat took its toll on the players. Not every Mets player was on the field for batting practice and the Reds did their pregame stretching in an indoor batting cage.